Moscow court upholds Browder's arrest in absentia

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld the decision to arrest William Browder, the head of Hermitage Capital, in absentia.

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld the decision to arrest William Browder, the head of Hermitage Capital, in absentia.

The judicial collegium has declined the appeal filed by the lawyers for Browder, upholding the court's decision, an Interfaxcorrespondent reported.

"I believe the decision made by the Tverskoi Court on William Browder is illegal and was issued with clear violations," lawyer Alexander Antipov told the court.

Antipov said Browder was not duly informed about the hearing of the request for his arrest in absentia.

"In addition, it was reported on May 25 that Interpol did not put my client on the international wanted persons list, which was the purpose of the court ruling," he said.

Antipov also pointed out to the court numerous mistakes in the court protocol.

The investigator, in turn, asked the court to decline the appeal filed by the lawyer for the head of Hermitage Capital.

"The lawyer says the investigators have Browder's address and the notice was sent there, but was returned due to the addressee's absence. The investigators do not know the location of the accused, he is hiding," the investigator said.

The prosecutor also backed the investigators' position. Having listened to the parties' arguments, the court upheld the decision to arrest Browder in absentia.

On March 5, the Interior Ministry's Investigations Department published information on the opening of a criminal case based on the stealing of Gazprom shares by structures created by Browder, the head of the investment fund Hermitage Capital. The criminal case was opened based on the article dealing with large scale fraud. The damage done by Browder's actions reached some 3 billion rubles, the Interior Ministry said.

This case against Browder is unrelated to the materials on tax evasion by Hermitage Capital, in which Browder and auditor Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow detention facility, are charged in absentia.

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